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The Fashion History of Embroidered Iron On Patches

Embroidered iron on patches are bursting back onto the fashion scene. Iron on patches are a quick and fun way to spruce up your old jackets. They can brighten up your jeans or up-cycle a backpack. However you decide to wear your embroidered iron on patches, understanding the rich fashion history of embroidered iron on patches gives your style extra-special significance. 

The Early Fashion History of Embroidered Iron On Patches

Embroidered iron on patches are no new fad, they can be traced back to classic embroidery techniques with ancient origins. Examples of embroidery have been discovered as early as 30,000 B.C. Other early examples stem from China and South America, and even the Vikings incorporated embroidery into their textile designs. 

Before the development of the sewing machine in the Victorian age, each design was unique and hand-stitched, meaning that fine embroidery was largely only accessible for artisans and the wealthy. Before they entered fashion history, embroidered patches also served a more practical purpose. For the poorer classes, embroidered patches were traditionally used to cover up holes and tears in clothing. So, how did they become a fashion staple?

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The Military Fashion History of Embroidered Iron On Patches

Throughout history and into the modern day, embroidered patches have been an important part of military wear. Typically worn on the upper arm or chest, these embroidered patches usually denote the rank and unit of the soldier, along with their name.

Embroidered iron on patches have been iconic to military style fashion. If you're going for a military look, affixing embroidered iron on patches to military bomber jackets and backpacks gives an authentic look.

The 20th Century Fashion History of Embroidered Iron On Patches 

The fashion history of embroidered iron on patches took another turn in the mid to late 20th century, as the free-spirited protestors of the 1960s adopted embroidered patches as part of their eclectic style. Peace signs, rainbows and heart embroidered patches have become famous symbols of the era. 

Into the 70s and 80s, patches became hugely significant to social protest movements, particularly for feminism, civil rights and gay rights. Wearing an embroidered iron on patch with a message in support of political and social movements gave young and marginalised voices a place to speak their mind and wear their heart on their sleeve. To this very day, embroidered iron on patches are worn to support social change and equality.

The Fabulous Future of Embroidered Iron On Patches 

The fashion history of embroidered iron on patches is shaping into a wonderful fashion future, as they are becoming a staple of the modern wardrobe for the 2020s. As up-cycling and vintage takes centre stage, iron on patches look set to stay in the next era of fashion history. 

Buying a second-hand denim jacket from a charity or vintage shop is an easy and affordable way to start up-cycling clothes with embroidered iron on patches. Embroidered patches give a shabby-chic flair to outdated styles, and are now being incorporated into fashion lines by leading global designers, including Gucci and Marc Jacobs. 

Embroidered patches are a major player in the future of fashion. They combine free-spirited messages of solidarity with homespun up-cycling. With so many amazing styles filled with personality, there's no better way to express yourself through your clothes than with embroidered iron on patches.

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